Spa EF Open: Aitken beats Pulcini in epic duel to win race one

Renault academy driver Jack Aitken came out on top in a race-long battle with RP Motorsport’s Leonardo Pulcini to take victory in the first Euroformula Open race at Spa-Francorchamps.

Spa EF Open: Aitken beats Pulcini in epic duel to win race one

Aitken started the race from fourth on the grid, which effectively became third as Diego Menchaca failed to start the race due to technical reasons.

The British driver passed Ferdinand Habsburg while braking into Les Combes on Lap 2, with Tanart Sathienthirakul following his teammate to jump into third position.

Aitken then started reeling in polesitter Pulcini, making a brave move at Bruxelles on Lap 4 to move into the lead.

The two drivers, however, continued to trade positions over the next few laps until Aitken made a decisive move on Lap 6 at Les Combes, sealing his second victory of the season.

Behind, Habsburg repassed Sathienthirakul to claim the final spot on the podium, with the latter finishing a tenth of a second behind in fourth place.

Damiano Fioravanti was classified fifth ahead of Carlin’s Colton Herta, who himself was engaged in a lengthy battle with Igor Walilko.

Further back, Diego Menchaca finished in eighth place, with Keyvan Andres and Enaam Ahmed completing the top 10.

The race was brought under safety car conditions when Nikita Zlobin’s car rolled over at the Kemmel Straight on lap 2. The Russian escaped unscathed from the incident, but his car was heavily damaged.

Antoni Ptak also retired from the race, after being squeezed by two rival drivers on the run down to Les Combes.

Race 1 results:

PosDriver TeamTime/Gap 
 Jack Aitken RP Motorsport 35'54.749 
 Leonardo Pulcini Campos 4.745
 Ferdinand Habsburg Drivex School 6.042
 Tanart Sathienthirakul RP Motorsport 6.157
 Damiano Fioravanti RP Motorsport 8.012
 Colton Herta Carlin 10.432
 Igor Walilko Fortec 10.986
 Diego Menchaca Campos 16.934
 Keyvan Soori Carlin 23.698
10   Enaam Ahmed DAV Racing 24.685
11   Danylo Pronenko BVM Racing 29.839
12   Petru Florescu Teo Marting Racing 30.342
13   Tatiana Calderón Teo Marting Racing 30.587
14   Kang Ling DAV Racing 31.070
15   Ameya Vaidyanathan Carlin 43.701
16   Gulhuseyn Abdullayev Campos 56.198
17   Liang Jia Tong Team West Tec 1'28.399
18   Kusiri Kantadhee RP Motorsport  
Ret  Julio Moreno Campos  
Ret  Jose Manuel Vilalta Teo Marting Racing  
Ret  Daniele Cazzaniga DAV Racing  
Ret  Antoni Ptak RP Motorsport  
Ret  Nikita Zlobin  Teo Marting Racing  
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